Case Study

Swansea University     Back to universities

UK Fish for UK Waters – Better Cleaner Fish

  • Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research established in 2003 with a £2 million infrastructure investment from the Welsh Government, European Regional Development Fund and Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.
  • Wales’ only Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Aquaculture, boasting the largest algal facilities of any Higher Education Institution in the UK.
  • The centre has utilised a network of expertise providing state of the art facilities and know-how to business.

Aquaculture, which is the farming of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, aquatic plants, algae, and other aquatic organisms, is the world’s fastest growing food industry. As an under developed sector in Wales, there is huge potential for the sector to play a major contribution to the sustainability and security of the food industry, whilst providing significant opportunities for economic development, particularly within rural areas.

The Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Research (CSAR) is Wales’ only Centre of Excellence on Sustainable Aquaculture, boasting the largest algal facilities of any Higher Education Institution in the UK. The centre has utilised a network of expertise in the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of plants and animals in all types of water environments to drive aquaculture innovation in Wales for over a decade, providing state of the art facilities and know-how to business.

CSAR was established in 2003 with a £2 million infrastructure investment from the Welsh Government, European Regional Development Fund and Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.

A recent project focused on parasitic sea-lice, which are the biggest threat facing sustainable salmon production in the world with an annual cost to the industry of £500 million. Following years of research by the team on using lumpfish as cleaner fish (an attractive alternative to the use of chemicals), a Research and Development collaboration project was developed with industry to develop this novel species as a solution to the sea-lice problem facing the industry.

Recognised both nationally and internationally, the project team have contributed significantly to an increase in UK lumpfish production from a few thousand to over six million annually. This has led to many knock-on economic benefits especially in rural communities.

No other place in the UK or Europe is able to produce screened UK sourced lumpfish. The disease screening program is creating unique products and transforming the way the industry views imports.

Building on this exciting project, CSAR was successful in securing £1.4 million of EU funding for SMARTAQUA in January 2018. The project is facilitating industry-academic collaborations to develop existing and new aquaculture products and technologies, bring them to market, and in-turn, generate much needed employment opportunities for those within rural communities.